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Advent 2020

Reflection by Sister Susan Mika, OSB
First Sunday of Advent 2020

Normally, we speak about Advent as a time of “waiting” as we approach the Christmas season. We wait and pray and prepare ourselves as we ponder that God sent Jesus to come as a child, to live among us, to minister to many.

It seems that in 2020, we have been “waiting” most of the year. We have been waiting:
•  for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic;
•  for vaccines that will help change the trajectory of the illness;
•  for a return to “normal” life;
•  for a spiritual awareness of what is truly important;
•  for bonding across the world that we are in this together.

When we went into the pandemic quarantine in March, who knew that in December we would be in midst of another spike in cases? We look forward to the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas as family celebrations…a time to see and enjoy and catch up with family members. This year, we are called in a different way to reach out. One way would be to write a note (yes, and mail it!) to family/friends. Another way would be to reach out and call someone you might not have spoken to recently. Sending a card might say, I’m thinking of you. All of these actions take time. Time is one thing that we do have during this Advent. We are not going out as much, if at all. Many of our groups and committees are meeting virtually.

Advent is a season where we can use the time to look inward and outward. We work on ourselves – trying to reflect more each day. With the darkness coming already at 5 or 6 o’clock – we could use this a signal to look inward. As we are part of our world, we must look outward. We cannot hide from the many needs of the peoples within our circles of influence, as well as, the cries of the Earth and its inhabitants.

We lift each up, remembering that we are here for each other. Reach out and reach across any divides. Our lives may never go back to what we used to consider “normal” – that is yet to be determined. We can use this waiting/pandemic as a chance to re-image what could be.

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